What is the Disumbrationist movement?

(excerpt from American Radical and Reactionary Militias)

by J. David Oznot

Current Activities

The Disumbrationist is a peculiar outsider in the world of radical thought and activism, a joker in the deck whose actions often seem at first glance to contradict each other and to be at odds with any coherent (and certainly any radical) program.

This superficial assessment, which has enabled the Disumbrationist movement to fly under the radar of the hostile establishment, reflects the tactical nature of the movement. As Sun Tzu's Art of War puts it: "First feign disorder, then crush your enemy."

The political theory behind the Disumbrationists is not original but rather an adaptation of a well-established anarchist tradition, perhaps influenced by Ellul and by the Front Lopulaire. It is the tactics that are entirely new - the Disumbrationists are not the easily-targeted bomb-tossing revolutionary army, but an invisible team of infiltrators hell-bent on using the despised System's own excesses to destroy it. The metaphor used in one Disumbrationist communiqué was:

"We support the Greenhouse Effect because we delight in El Niño."

But "supporting the Greenhouse Effect" isn't much of a program. What have the Disumbrationists actually accomplished? It turns out that this is hard to measure: unlike many groups with a focus on direct-action, the Disumbrationist avoids the limelight, takes no credit for successful actions, makes no demands of authority, and never self-identifies as a member of the "Disumbrationist movement."

This is not the sort of group to keep membership lists, so for instance, although there is plenty of circumstantial evidence to back up the claim that Monica Lewinsky is or was a Disumbrationist, this is not the sort of assertion that lends itself to proof. Lewinsky's actions, however, whether they were prompted by a political agenda or simply by inherited primate mating strategies, are a good model of Disumbrationist action: An individual with no obvious agenda infiltrating "the machine" and using its own wickedness (repressed sexuality) against it (to temporarily paralyze all three branches of government).

If the theory of the Disumbrationists differs from other well-known forms of anarchism substantially it is in their advocacy of "nobility." The knights-of-the-round-table language sometimes used in Disumbrationist propaganda has led some to smell therein a suspicious odor of monarchism. But this is not the nobility of the European courts, but more the nobility of Lord Buckley, who appropriated his title on the basis of being noble rather than inheriting it on the basis of his ancestry or acquiring it as a reward from political elites.

Perhaps "honor" is a more appropriate word to describe what the Disumbrationists are getting at, but there is some deliberate effort on their part to play off of the ideas of romantic Arthurian knights, so "nobility" it is. The noble order here resembles less the royal court and more Jack Black's "Johnson Family" - nobody joins the Johnson Family, and there's no set of commandments to follow, but if you aim to do right by people, you'll come to be known as "a Johnson."*

The Disumbrationist anticipates a crisis that will challenge the currently existing authority structures, and the Disumbrationist program consists as much in preparing for the post-crisis world as it does in trying to make the System vulnerable to collapse.

In the wake of the collapse, "Disumbrationist survivors" and "liberated human minds" will resist the cargo-cult temptation to reconstitute or mimic the old authority structures by instead creating "meritocracies of nobility." Disumbrationists prepare for this eventuality by "nurtur[ing] in ourselves a baroque, excessive and showy nobility - flaunting our loyalty to human friends and family (and flaunting also our disregard for institutions that would make obsolete any loyalty not directed at themselves)."

The goal here is that when "the machine is dismantled and we must again rely on people" it will be the "Disumbrationist vanguard" - with its knowledge of the political dimension of the crisis and the urgency of resisting statism in its aftermath - that has the perceived integrity to lead by example rather than by force.


I think I've used the phrase "shrouded in mystery" quite enough by now, but it's worth restating that the history of "secret societies" like those of the Disumbrationists tends to be based on documents written by paranoid and delusionary detractors or by deliberately obfuscatory adherents.

The history I'm summarizing, then, is a mixture of the best historical evidence I've been able to uncover and elements of the creation and developmental myths that inspire today's Disumbrationists.

Coïncidentally or not, the Order Disumbrative was also founded in the eighteenth century by an ex-Jesuit [this alludes to an earlier chapter not included in this excerpt - ed.]. And what the Jesuits were to the Catholic Church, the Disumbrative order was to the loosly-aligned groups of Rosicrucians in Northern and Central Europe. Invented at some point in the 1720s by George Salmanasar, who gave the group a mythical origin in the Far East, by the time of his death in the 1770s the organization had mutated from an orientally-decorated defender of the odd Rosicrucian faith into a heretical competitor, and it was driven underground by oppression from both sides.

There is some circumstantial evidence to the effect that the Illuminati were a direct outgrowth of this repressed Disumbrationism, but despite some suggestive coincidences in timing and origin, this is disputed by most serious researchers, who point to significant philosophical differences between the two groups. Weishaupt was almost certainly influenced by the structure and trappings of the organization, however.

Disumbrationism travelled to the United States with Benjamin Franklin, who had been initiated by the French shaman Frans Anton Mesmer (and who thanked Mesmer by denouncing him as a charlatan). Mesmer had himself been initiated by a Jesuit astronomer by the name of Abbe Maximillian Hell (look it up if you don't believe me) who was a deputy of Salmanasar's.

The current American Disumbrationist League traces its descent all the way back to Franklin, but the historical record suggests that the last active Disumbrationist groups in the United States were absorbed by the Church of Latter-Day Saints (of all things) in the 1880s before resurfacing in Missouri in the late 1930s, disappearing almost as quickly, and then perhaps being reinvented as the "Disumbrationist League" probably no earlier than 1961.

* William S. Burroughs, in My Own Business writes: "The old hop-smoking rod-riding underworld," (by which he means the world of Jack Black, whose writing influenced Burroughs):
has a name for it: "a member of the Johnson family." Wouldn't rush to the law if he smelled hop in the hall, doesn't care what fags in the back room are doing, stands by his word. Good man to do business with.

They are found in all walks of life. The cop who slipped me a joint in a New Orleans jail, for instance. Or when I was pushing junk in New York back in 1948, the hotel clerk who stopped me in the lobby: "I don't know how to say this, but there is something wrong about the people who come to your room." (Something wrong is putting it softly; ratty junkies with no socks, dressed in three boosted suits puffing out, carrying radios torn from the living car, trailing wires like entrails. "This isn't a hock shop!" I scream. "Get this shit out of here!" Regaining my composure I say severely, "You are lowering the entire tone of my establishment.") "So I just wanted to warn you to be careful and tell those people to watch what they say over the phone… if someone else had been at the switchboard…"

And a hotel clerk in Tunis; I handed him some money to put in the safe. He put the money away and looked at me: "You do not need a receipt Monsieur." I looked at him and saw that he was a Johnson, and knew that I didn't need a receipt.

Yes, this world would be a pretty easy and pleasant place to live in if everybody could just mind his own business and let others do the same. But a wise old black faggot said to me years ago: 'Some people are shits, darling.' I was never able to forget it…

Most of the trouble in this world has been caused by folks who can't mind their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind, any more than a smallpox virus has…

And in The Place of Dead Roads, Burroughs writes:

A Johnson honors his obligations. His word is good and he is a good man to do business with. A Johnson minds his own business. He is not a snoopy, self-righteous, trouble-making person. A Johnson will give help when help is needed. He will not stand by while someone is drowning or trapped under a burning car.

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